Erin Kaple is in her second term as a vice-principal at Westlake High School. As the vice principal who oversees instruction, Kaple is well known among her team as a professional who does her best each day to support students. She is well respected in the school community for her kind and caring demeanor. For her passion for education and support of students, staff, and families, Kaple was named the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) 2021 Vice Principal of the Year.
Kaple is a standout among the administrative team at Westlake. Her peers thought she was a natural selection for recognition and nominated her for the honor. Kaple said she had no idea she was up for an award. During a graduation practice for seniors, Westlake Principal Diane Roberts announced Kaple’s award recognition.
Kaple is known in the Westlake community for her passion about education and ability to establish and support positive relationships. Kaple was honored to receive this year’s Vice Principal of the Year recognition. “I am so honored for this recognition and humbled. I am fortunate for those I have worked with. I love what I do and really enjoy working with people,” Kaple said.
In addition to her role as the vice principal in charge of instruction, Kaple is the principal designee, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) site coordinator, mentor to new administrators and teachers, and acting department chair for guidance. She is the go-to resource at Westlake for staff with questions about teaching and learning.
Additionally, Kaple established school operating procedures when Westlake opened for students returning for in-person instruction this school year. She creates and manages the master schedule, supervises the grade and credit recovery program, and oversees the disciplinary case management for Westlake.
Roberts said Kaple is a remarkable leader. “Ms. Kaple is serving a second tour as a vice principal in our building. She was previously assigned here before moving to a middle school. When we received the news that she was returning, our staff members rejoiced because Ms. Kaple is an administrator who is well respected for her professionalism, attention to detail and approachable personality,” Roberts wrote in a nomination letter.
Kaple began her career with the school system in 2006 as a social studies teacher at Henry E. Lackey High School. She started college as a physical therapy major but found herself immersed in her history classes. “I fell in love with my history courses and decided to pursue teaching,” Kaple said.
Kaple taught at Lackey for seven years before pursuing an administrative role with CCPS. “I loved being in the classroom and helping students, but I knew as an administrator I would have a wider scope to support more students,” she said.
Cynthia Brown is a special education instructional assistant at Westlake and worked with Kaple at Lackey. She said Kaple embodies all the qualities of an outstanding administrator.
“Knowing her has been the highlight of my career. The criteria for this award involves educational leadership, resolving complex problems, developing self and others, and community service. No one fulfills all four categories as well as Ms. Kaple does. She goes above and beyond with everything she does, and 100 percent supports faculty, staff, students and the school community as a whole,” Brown wrote in a nomination support letter.
Kaple moved from the classroom to an administrative assistant role at Lackey during the 2013-14 school year. She was then appointed as a vice principal at Westlake in 2014. Kaple spent two years at Westlake in a vice principal role before moving to Piccowaxen Middle School. Kaple served the Piccowaxen community for three years before her transfer back to Westlake in 2019.
Wendell Martin retired from CCPS earlier this school year and served as Piccowaxen’s principal for several years. During his time at Piccowaxen, Martin worked with a few different vice principals. He said Kaple was one of the best he worked with at the school.
“I emphatically say that she was one of the greatest vice principals I have ever worked with. A leader by example, Ms. Kaple would always jump right in and help the teachers and students in whatever capacity she was needed. She is a true team player and a proponent for students,” Martin wrote in a nomination letter.
Kaple said she is fortunate to have worked with several excellent leaders during her career with CCPS. “Curry Werkheiser hired me at Lackey, and later in my career I worked on the administrative team with him at Westlake. I have to say things have come full circle for me in my career and I am fortunate for the great leaders I have worked with,” she said.
Kaple has a bachelor’s degree in education from Miami University (Ohio) and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from McDaniel College.
Kaple was honored by the Board of Education as the 2021 CCPS Vice Principal of the Year at its June 8 meeting. Each year, one CCPS vice principal is honored with the award.